Saturday, June 6, 2020
«« »»
Artist: ghost and tape (@)
Title: Vár
Format: CD
Label: Home Normal (@)
Rated: *****
The title of this new output by Danish producer Heine Christensen aka ghost and tape is the word for 'spring' in Old Norse (very similar to 'Voar' and 'Ware', old Scottish words used in Orkney and Shetland and in Northern Isles and South-Western Scotland respectively), whose meaning is not strictly related to the season, but could also refer to a 'new beginning'. Discovered through an album released by Akira Kosemura's imprint Scholes, randomly found in a shop in Tokyo (where headquarters of Home Normal is), Ian resembles that he was initially attracted by the artwork, but when he listened to its musical content, he noticed a strong consonance with Home Normal's ethos and policy. In Ian's own words: "I’ve always admired people who take their time with their music for they appreciate the finer details and seem to understand music as a timeless quantity.[...]‘Pure and forceful with mystifying, beautiful patterns.’ I don’t think you could get a more apt description than this to describe such a work. This is ambient music as its most thoughtful and tender; so carefully crafted and worked, with purpose in each and every twist and turn.". The description could sum the sound you'll find in this album up; its general vibe, elongated and occasionally lulling tones, gentle melodies, whose symbiosis with field recordings of natural settings, evoking a strong sense of peace, are not a harmony in the strictly academic meaning of the term, but they asymptotically tend to an idea of harmony, that smells of ancient pagan beliefs, green magic and awakening natural energies, strongly rooted in some Germanic old culture (as testified by the reference to the goddess 'Eostre' - the English word 'Easter' seems to come from the name of this name, as well). Even if I won't say the sonic strategies explored by Heine are really groundbreaking in the ambient scene, the purity of its sound makes it a really delightful listening experience. A rare quality nowadays.